EASY TO BLAME but difficult to communicate with country North Korea has denied that it was behind the WannaCry ransomware attack that crippled NHS IT systems.
Earlier this week, Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that the government held North Korea responsible for the attack, which saw the NHS cancel over 19,000 medical appointments cancelled and computers at 600 surgeries shut down.
Wallace said that arresting any suspects would be “challenging” as a “hostile state” was involved, The Independent reports.
“This attack, we believe quite strongly that this came from a foreign state,” Wallace said.
Adding that the state involved was “North Korea”, he said: “We can be as sure as possible. I obviously can’t go into the detail of intelligence, but it is widely believed in the community and across a number of countries that North Korea had taken this role.”
Since, however, a spokesperson for North Korea-Europe Association has denied the accusations and slammed the claims as “groundless speculation”.
“This is an act beyond the limit of our tolerance and it makes us question the real purpose behind the UK’s move,” the spokesperson said official Korean Central News Agency.
“The moves of the UK government to doggedly associate the DPRK with the cyber-attack cannot be interpreted in any other way than a wicked attempt to lure the international community into harbouring greater mistrust of the DPRK.”
This stringent denial come just days after a report from the National Audit Office (NAO) said that the NHS left itself wide open to the WannaCry outbreak in May because they failed to apply patches for Windows 7 that had been available for two months.
The NAO’s official investigation into WannaCry concluded that “simple action” by the NHS could have protected it against the ransomware.
“All organisations infected by WannaCry shared the same vulnerability and could have taken relatively simple action to protect themselves,” it said in its report.
“All NHS organisations infected by WannaCry had unpatched or unsupported Windows operating systems so were susceptible to the ransomware.
“However, whether organisations had patched their systems or not, taking action to manage their firewalls facing the internet would have guarded organisations against infection.”